Re-platforming your eCommerce business – why it could be worth the risk

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Re-platforming is not a decision to be taken lightly. It affects many aspects of your business,  requires buy-in from stakeholders across different departments, and can create headaches for existing systems. 

While re-platforming might be a costly or unpopular decision, it is also sometimes the right decision. Once you’ve successfully moved over to the new platform, it can lead to big savings and incredible growth for your business.

An important factor to consider when choosing to re-platform is the total cost of ownership (TCO). According to a Forrester report on TCO in eCommerce re-platform projects, almost half of all eCommerce projects in their survey had significantly higher than predicted TCO.

Your TCO should include these 2 phases

  • The initial build costs, or CAPEX costs.
  • Predicted ongoing costs after the new site goes live, or OPEX costs.  

Ecommerce re-platform project leads should invest time and effort into meticulously detailing your TCO model. This worksheet aims to take you through key elements that should be incorporated into your project’s TCO. 

Ask relevant stakeholders to calculate costs (if applicable) to calculate your projected re-platform TCO. Use the results to inform your budget during your RFP process.

The next step would be to have a thorough look at your current platform to identify any gaps in the system and decide whether or not it’s time to upscale based on that assessment. 

All of the information you collect should enable you to ask the right questions to eCommerce platform vendors if you do decide to make the move. 

It’s also important to ensure every single sub-process and step in your re-platform project has a risk assessment plan that is focused on minimizing project risks.

Risk factors to consider

Data-migration:

You should handle data with extreme care during the data migration phase. For business continuity and the maintenance of trust, it is critical to keep customer and product data secure.

Website functionality:

Regularly check your initial discovery and RFP documentation to ensure that your re-platform is aligned with the project’s initial goals and your overall business expectations.

Impact on traffic and SEO:

When it comes to SEO and reducing the impact of the re-platform on traffic, it is critical to work with the right people with experience on your chosen platform. SEO will typically be initially affected by re-platforming, but with solid SEO migration execution including maintaining unique URL structures, the mid- and long-term effects of a re-platform on SEO traffic is positive. 

You can help mitigate the short-term impact by utilizing paid media while you wait for new traffic to build through organic search.

Integrations:

Ensure that your new platform integrates with third-party tools and platforms the right way. Avoid deploying hacks and shortcuts. API calls and integrations should be deployed effectively.

To find out more about re-platforming and a full ERP implementation click here. 

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